Expectations high for OU junior day

Sooners are hosting several top prospects Saturday; could commitments follow?

Updated: March 2, 2012, 11:09 AM ET
By Bob Przybylo | SoonerNation

NORMAN, Okla. -- If Oklahoma doesn't pick up its first commitment of the class of 2013 this weekend, would junior day be considered a failure?

Most Sooners fans would answer that question with an affirmative. No high-profile program has been more patient than OU so far with this year's class.

The Sooners have offered more than 70 kids but so far haven't been able to nab that elusive first commitment.

Fans have been able to do nothing but watch as Texas and Texas A&M have received verbal commitments from one top prospect after another.

OU's first junior day was, in a word, chaotic. Last-minute changes made a scheduled list of visitors obsolete by the morning of Feb. 4. This weekend's edition doesn't seem to be as troubling. A lot of the top recruits already have confirmed they will be in Norman, Okla., on Saturday and are excited about the trip.

Excited enough to commit? That is the question right now. There are a number of recruits who feel like they're on the verge of committing, but some of the more popular ones have tried to put down that talk before it starts this week.

Defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball), defensive end D.J. Ward (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) and offensive guard Rob Boyd (Vian, Okla./Vian) all said earlier this week that they do not intend to commit this weekend.

The patient approach has endeared the OU coaching staff to recruits even if it does have some fans getting a little impatient.

One of the concerns has been that some of the recruits with whom OU took a measured approach are no longer on the board. Recruits who attended Feb. 4 junior day, like offensive tackles Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands) and J.J. Gustafson (Dallas/Jesuit), quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (Whitewright, Texas/Whitewright) and receivers Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit) and Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls), all have verbally committed elsewhere. Perkins, Swoopes, Oliver and Warrick are with Texas, while Gustafson chose Texas A&M.

Though OU has missed out on those five propsects, a lot of the Sooners' top targets remain in play. And OU remains near the top of the list for many of those names.

Conventional wisdom would say OU will land at least one commitment this weekend. However, this month is showing you can throw conventional wisdom out the window right now.

OU was stingy with offers at its first junior day. Offers should flow a little more easily this weekend, as a number of quality kids who have been waiting for an offer shouldn't have to wait beyond Saturday.

As long as the offers are made, it will be a good weekend. After that, OU can say it has done everything it can to make the commitment happen. At that point, the recruits once again will have the power. The first commit could come Saturday, Sunday or sometime in the next week. Regardless of when it does, the Sooners are still in fine shape for this class.

OU has targeted its top recruits, both at a local and national level. The Sooners are in the running with most of them, even if it is taking longer for some to accept.

Bob Przybylo covers football and basketball recruiting for SoonerNation. He can be reached at bprzybyloespn@gmail.com.

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